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June 14, 2017: Neighborhood Fire

Last night I got out at 8 p.m., shortly after talking to my sister Eleanor. I opted to take Tinni for a walk around the loop. On Oceanview, the road that passes our place, a fire truck went by slowly, its lights flashing. It did seem odd to me that there was just one truck, and it didn’t have its siren on. I kept going.

Tinni and did 3/4ths of the loop, – then as we were on the upper road and nearing the end of Sybarite, I first saw flashing lights and then red trucks. Never heard any sirens. Never saw any smoke. Something was up. Tinni and I kept going, wove our way around the vehicles and hoses, I stopped to ask a fire fighter what was up and was told that there had been a structural fire.

The firefighter, a female, said when I asked, that Jim was okay, just drunk. I thanked her and moved on and put Tinni away. I soon returned to the scene of the fire and was told I could go up to Jim’s place. Indeed, Jim’s shop had burned down. It consisted of a foam covered conex and a wooden frame building. The fire fighters were tearing up the charred wood, piece by piece, and tossing it over the edge of a ledge.

0ur other neighbor Kirby was there. For once we were speechless. Jim was beside himself. He lost nearly every shop item that he owned; he was cataloguing as he talked. This included the bicycle that our friend Christopher left him when he visited a few years back.

The blaze was caused by a sauna fire. Jim had left it unattended. The wooden building caught fire and this ignited the shop.

The good news was that he’d gotten out some money that Jim had stashed in a tin can in his shop. A firefighter or Jim, I don’t know which – pulled the money out of the near wreckage. According to Jim, a state trooper put him in an arm lock when he ran towards the shed.

Kirby eventually went home – had to go dipnetting, which meant that he had to get some sleep. I stayed with Jim until 2 a.m. making sure that he was okay. This morning I went back there with Judy, Kirby’s mother – she made him a pot of chili. I knew that Jim was all right because he was eating a huge egg, potato, and goat milk cheese breakfast. I had not yet eaten breakfast and could hear my stomach growling.

I called the Red Cross this a.m. They didn’t call back. I have since heard that they only give assistance when a house burns down. What gives? As Jim said, he wished his house burned down instead. Now I know that if his house had burned, he would be distraught about losing family mementoes.
I had never thought before about the aftermath of fires and what after is done with the debris. This is now on Jim’s mind. Pete, when I talked to him said that we need to get more fire extinguishers.

Next: 163. 6/16/17: Trail Clinic, Day

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